CDC Director Says Trump Adviser Is Wrong About Everything

CDC Director Robert Redfield says that if everyone wore masks we'd defeat COVID-19 in a couple of months.Pool Via Cnp/CNP via ZUMA

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A reporter for NBC News listened in on a telephone call a few days ago:

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has grown increasingly concerned that President Donald Trump, pushed by a new member of his coronavirus task force, is sharing incorrect information about the pandemic with the public. Dr. Robert Redfield, who leads the CDC, suggested in a conversation with a colleague Friday that Dr. Scott Atlas is arming Trump with misleading data about a range of issues, including questioning the efficacy of masks, whether young people are susceptible to the virus and the potential benefits of herd immunity.

“Everything he says is false,” Redfield said during a phone call made in public on a commercial airline and overheard by NBC News.

It’s worth remembering that Redfield’s nomination as director of the CDC was controversial at the time. In addition to being accused of scientific misconduct in the ’90s, Redfield is a conservative Christian who has promoted abstinence-only policies for AIDS patients. He was viewed by many liberals as a likely promoter of bad science if Donald Trump asked for it, so it’s notable that he has refused to play along.

But there’s probably nothing that Redfield can do about Scott Atlas. Trump has finally found someone who will tell him what he wants to hear, and in Trumpworld that’s the highest credential of them all. Tomorrow night I imagine we can expect a flurry of Atlas-provided nonsense about COVID-19 when Trump takes the debate stage.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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